Live Now: New Card / Full Form Components

Our first upgrades of 2021 are now live!

We've added:

- Dam data

- PRB by Race Code on Full Form

- Prize Money (win and total)

- Season Date search on Full Form (due imminently)

All of these can be seen in the five minute video below; and they are, of course, explained in more detail in our comprehensive User Guide (click here for that).

I very much hope you'll find them useful!

Matt

 

New Metric on Geegeez Gold: PRB

We're constantly striving to improve Geegeez Gold, our flagship racecards and form tool service. After a few quieter months - lots going on in the background - we're about to inject a new metric into Gold.

We've deliberately kept it away from the more commonly used numbers, simply because if you don't want to engage with this, we don't want it in your way. At the same time, I very much believe you should take heed of the new number and that's why I've put this post together.

So, what is the new number? Well, it's not exactly brand new as we already display Percentage of Rivals Beaten (PRB) within our draw content. But we're now extending it calculation and display to trainer, jockey and sire data. Here is some more information on Percentage of Rivals Beaten...

What is PRB?

Percentage of Rivals Beaten (PRB) is a calculation based on a horse's finishing position in relation to field size. It makes key distinctions between a horse finishing, say, third in a five-horse race (PRB 50%, two rivals beaten, beaten by two rivals) and finishing third in an eleven-horse race (PRB 80%, eight rivals beaten, beaten by two rivals).

For a collection of results - for example, a trainer's record over the last year - we take an average of all the individual PRB scores.

On geegeez.co.uk, we express PRB as a number between 0 and 1. So, in the examples above, 50% is 0.5 and 80% is 0.8.

What is convenient about PRB is that a par score is always 50% of rivals beaten, or 0.5. This means that a trainer with a one-year PRB of 0.55, 55% of rivals beaten, is doing very well; conversely, a trainer with 0.45 as his PRB is under-performing in finishing position terms.

It is always important to remember that finishing position is not the only number in town and, as with all numbers, it should be used sensibly and in concert with other metrics.

Why is PRB useful?

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PRB is useful because it helps to make small datasets bigger. In racing we are almost always hamstrung by small datasets, relative to what general statistics would consider so at any rate. And when we then try to discern knowledge from the data by looking only at wins we ignore seven-eighths of the information we have (assuming an average field size of eight, one winner, seven losers).

If we had 1,000,000 wins to consider, that wouldn't be much of an issue. But we don't. We have much smaller groups of wins and runs with which to work.

Historically I've used place percentages to enlarge the positive to negative comparison: using our eight-runner average, we now have three 'wins' (placed horses) for five losses (unplaced horses). That's much better but still lacking in nuance.

PRB awards 'score' to every runner except tail end Charlie in every race (ignoring non-completions which are dealt with separately - an explanation of how we've accounted for them will appear in the user guide as it will add little value here). This has some challenges of its own; for instance, a horse that went hard from the front and is still battling for third place will be ridden right to the line, whereas that same horse may be eased off if/when four others have already passed it: it has given its running already and there is little be gained from finishing fifth or ninth.

Such issues are accommodated up to a point by squaring the PRB figure, and you can see how that manages the curve in the post linked to at the bottom of this one if you're that way inclined.

The crux is this: PRB is useful because it helps us understand the totality of performance of a dataset rather than just a fraction (win or place, for instance).

How should I use PRB?

PRB has utility in isolation because every score can be compared to 0.5 to understand whether the thing being measured - trainer, jockey or sire performance in our case - is better or worse than what might be expected.

But, of course, we should expect that, for example, Paul Nicholls will have a far higher one-year National Hunt handicap PRB figure than Jimmy Moffatt. He does, 0.62 vs 0.5 at time of writing. But knowing that is unlikely to add to our bottom line; at least not in or of itself.

As it happens, both have been profitable to follow blindly in handicaps in the past twelve months: Nicholls has an A/E of 1.05 (and an SP win profit of +16.70) while Moffatt has 1.26 / +21.50.

If anything, Nicholls' figures are more impressive, for all that Moffatt's may be more sustainable.

What PRB tells us is the amount of merit in unplaced runs. It should be used to support understanding of an entity, rather than as an end in itself. And it is especially helpful in rendering the inference of small samples sizes slightly less of an act of folly.

Where does PRB live?

Regular Gold users will know that PRB - and its close relatives, PRB^2 and PRB3 - have been happily adding value to our draw content for some time.

And now (next week), PRB appears within trainer, jockey and sire data on the racecards and in reports. It is on the far right, out of trouble for those not (yet) interested in its utility.

On reports, it can be found in the same rightmost column location:

Use it or don't use it, but I'd suggest you make yourself aware, as a minimum, of what Percentage of Rivals Beaten is; and when it might pay to keep it in mind.

You can read more about all of our key metrics - A/E, IV and PRB - in this post.

Matt

p.s. more new features coming soon!

Winter Webinar #4: The Tools One

In this fourth and final Winter Gold series web broadcast, we look at the tools available to Gold subscribers. Specifically:

- The joy of a (good) Tracker, and how to use one properly
- Draw and Pace blue sky thinking
- Know thyself (and thy bets)
- Query Tool: where the really good stuff happens

If you like to arm yourself with nuggets of profit-pulling intel that other people don't have, watch this video and then set to work!

Matt

p.s. if you'd prefer to watch/listen slightly more quickly,  use the ⚙ icon in the bottom right of the video screen and change the 'Playback Speed'.

p.p.s. If you missed the previous sessions, you can watch them here (#1), here (#2) and here (#3).

Winter Webinars #2 and #3: Racecards and Reports

For the past few weeks, I've been broadcasting live on a Wednesday evening around the subjects of better betting and Geegeez Gold.

In the first 'Winter Gold' show, I talked about setting up to succeed, and you can watch that here.

The second broadcast focused on Gold's racecards, and showcased a range of tips and tricks for putting them to optimal use for you.

And the most recent, recorded live this week, homed in on getting the best out of the report suite, and particularly Report Angles.

Webinars 2 (Racecards) and 3 (Reports) can be viewed below.

Grounds For Concern For Leading Superior Mile Runner

There are plenty of big handicaps on Saturday and we also have Group 1 action so it should be a great day for betting whatever your race type preference. This week I’m going to look at another one mile Group race, having previewed the Celebration Mile last week at Goodwood. This week it's the Group 3 Superior Mile (1.45pm) at Haydock.

I’ll be using Instant Expert once again for this race but it’s worth noting that there are some more lightly raced types in this race compared to last week which means there will be a few more unknowns.

The Going

The ground is going to be a hugely important factor here with underfoot conditions currently described as soft, heavy in places on Friday afternoon. It’s due to be a dry weekend so we’ll probably be look at soft ground all over.

To get as much data into Instant Expert as possible I’m going to include data from ground described anywhere between good to soft and heavy.

Superior Mile Instant Expert

A few things initially stand out here. First of all Dark Vision has failed to place in all four starts on softish ground. He’d have half a chance on his best form but it looks as though a line can be put through this runner when there is cut in the ground.

Khaloosy and Kinross both have both encountered softer ground once and they both won those races.

Stormy Antarctic and Qaysar have both had plenty of experience in these kinds of conditions and both have strong records. Stormy Atlantic has placed in six of his eight runs on ground ranging from good to soft to heavy whilst Qaysar is three from five as far as placing is concerned. The pair both have three wins when the mud is flying.

The well fancied My Oberon and Top Rank are yet to run on softer than good whilst outsider Graignes is also an unknown as far as the ground is concerned.

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For those that are yet to run on softer ground we can get an insight into their suitability for testing conditions by using Instant Expert to look at sire data.

Superior Mile Sire Stats

Stormy Atlantic (Stormy Antarctic), Kingman (Kinross) and Dubawi (Khaloosy & My Oberon) all score well here and those sire stats aren’t contradicted by what we have seen from these offspring so far which is great. Comparatively the offspring of Dark Angel perform fairly poorly so Top Rank is far from guaranteed to enjoy these conditions.

Class

My Oberon has run once and placed once in class 1 races. Stormy Antarctic is by far the most experienced of these at this level with fourteen runs and six places. Dark Vision has two places from six attempts in class 1 races so he’s had plenty of tries at this sort of level without much success. Another strike against that runner.

Qaysar and Top Rank both step up in class whilst Khaloosy has failed to place in his only run in a class 1 with Kinross failing to place in two attempts in class 1 races.

Course

Not much course form on offer here but a big tick for Qaysar who has placed in two runs from three here. Both of those places were actually victories.

Distance

Top Rank has been most consistent at a mile to date, placing in all five starts, which we know were all at a lower level than this. At the other end of the scale Kinross and Qaysar have not been as consistent at this trip.

Field Size

Top Rank and Khaloosy have both placed in their sole start in fields of this sort of size. We have much more data for Stormy Antarctic, Qaysar and Dark Vision who are clearly comfortable in these mid sized fields.

A Look At The Form

We have plenty of question marks still as we only have limited data for the more lightly raced contenders.

Doubts Over Top Rank and Kinross Justified?

Top Rank and Kinross are two runners who are on the brink of having a line put through them based on the results from Instant Expert. Top Rank was beaten by a length in a handicap off a mark of 103 last time out. He’s now rated 106 which leaves him with 8lbs to find on the top rated runner here. He is lightly raced so may still improve but he’ll need to do so on ground he’s unproven on so comes with plenty of risk attached for a 6/1 chance.

Kinross has form on this sort of ground but it’s difficult to weight up as it was a wide margin maiden win. He did beat the now 97 rated Raaeb by 8 lengths (in receipt of 6lbs) so it was a smart effort on that occasion. His two runs this season have come in Group 1 company and he hasn’t been totally disgraced, especially as those runs came on faster ground. He’ll need to improve for the return to this ground though and he’s as yet unproven in ground quite this soft so backers are taking plenty of chances.

The Shortlist

There is little form that suggests Graignes is going to win this and the ground looks against Dark Vision so we are currently left with:

Khaloosy
My Oberon
Stormy Antarctic
Qaysar

First let’s look at the more exposed pair of Stormy Antarctic and Qaysar. Stormy Antarctic has had an official rating between 111 and 114 for the past 4 years which means we should know exactly how good he is. Instant Expert has shown that he is a horse with an okay record in better class races that relishes cut in the ground. On heavy ground he has form figures of 112, on soft ground he has form of 114 and that defeat came at the hands of Roaring Lion in a Group 1. Even on good to soft ground at a mile his form figures are 10222 with that blowout coming in the 2000 Guineas.

He clearly loves this ground but how good is he? He’s the horse to beat according to official ratings, although there are several possible improvers in this line up. He’s won two of his three starts at Group 3 level over a mile. His defeat came earlier this year at the hands of Century Dream. He carried a Group 2 penalty that day (which he doesn’t have to shoulder here) and that was his first start in almost 12 months so 4th was a decent enough effort. At Group 2 level at this trip he has finished 2nd and 3rd and the ground wasn’t quite as soft as he’d like on either occasion. He’s clearly good enough to win this sort of race and will be getting close to ideal conditions here.

Unlike Stormy Antarctic, Qaysar is completely unproven at this level. He’s improved each season though and is rated just 3lbs shy of Stormy Antarctic courtesy of winning a handicap over course and distance on testing ground by 4.25 length off a mark of 105. He’s failed to reproduce that form in two runs since but one of those runs was in a small field conditions race on fast ground and the other was in a York handicap off a mark of 111 and he was well enough beaten on his previous York run off a much lower mark. He’s probably not going to prove much better than his current rating but his best career run came here under similar conditions and a reproduction of that might see him reach the places.

Khaloosy and Oberon actually met last time in a Group 3 at Goodwood and My Oberon was 2.5 lengths in front of Khaloosy. My Oberon was also badly hampered by the winner so was value for further. Whilst My Oberon looked at home on the ground that day Khaloosy looked all at sea with the combination of fast ground and unconventional track clearly against him. Khaloosy is much better judged on his previous effort at Royal Ascot where he won the Britannia Handicap easily. That race has worked out well and beating Finest Sound (now rated 94) giving him 7lbs and a comfortable looking 4.5 length beating means he probably ran to a rating even higher than his current mark of 111 that day.

My Oberon has no soft ground form and although he’s bred to handle it, he’s previously been described by his trainer as ‘a fast ground horse’ so there have to be some reservations. Those same reservations don’t hang over Khaloosy whose sole run in testing conditions was by far his best.

Pace

We all know how important pace can be, especially in these smaller field races that can be run at a crawl on occasions. Here is the pace map for this race based on their last four runs:

Superior Mile Pace Map

As you can see, there doesn’t appear to be much pace in this contest so those that are able to sit handily could be advantaged as could be those who have proven themselves to be a bit ‘speedier’. Stormy Antarctic stays further than this so he’d ideally want a strong test and many of Qaysar’s best efforts have come when held up, although he is tactically versatile. My Oberon has a nice race style for this sort of set up but the question mark over the ground remains. Khaloosy was held up at Ascot but those were the right tactics to employ on the day and he’s been ridden much more prominently in his other runs.

Verdict

Assuming Khaloosy isn’t just much better at Ascot, he deserves another chance here and after just 4 career starts he should be able to improve past the extremely solid yard stick that is Stormy Antarctic. Meanwhile Qaysar isn’t a terrible bet for a place and could fill 3rd spot behind the other pair if things go to plan.

Dream Conditions For Century In Celebration Mile

Soft ground seems to have scared many runners away this weekend leaving us with a day of largely smaller field races. The highest class race of the day is the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood and that’s going to be the focus of this article. One of the most popular features of Geegeez Gold is the ‘Instant Expert’ and I’m going to use the Instant Expert to gain a quick overview of the seven runners set to take part in this race.

Place Data

First let’s take a look at it from a place perspective:

Instant Expert Place Data

Ground

I’ve set the going parameter to anything from good to soft down to heavy. We are probably going to be looking at soft, borderline heavy ground for this race but this should allow us to get more data. We can dig deeper into what specific going each horse has handled or not handled later.

It seems that Century Dream and Sir Busker stand out as two runners that not only handle cut in the ground, but relish it. Century Dream has had the most runs on testing ground and has impressively placed in seven of his ten runs. Sir Busker is next best with four placings from six runs on ground that is good to soft or softer.

There is limited evidence about Urban Icon’s ability to handle cut in the ground as he’s had just two runs in these conditions, placing in one of those.

Interestingly enough Regal Reality and Benbatl, the two early favourites have failed to place in over 50% of their races in this sort of going. Between them they’ve managed just three placings in nine starts. The only runners in this field to have never placed on softer ground are Duke Of Hazzard and Positive who seem to have been kept away from softer ground as often as possible and with good reason.

Class

Century Dream again comes out on top having placed in five out of eight runs in class 1 races. Duke Of Hazzard and Positive, who scored poorly on this ground, actually score very well here. That’s not a big help though if they don’t go on the ground.

Urban Icon, Regal Reality and Benbatl have poorer records in class 1 races but it’s worth remembering this will include anything from listed contests to Group 1 races and there can be more merit in finishing 4th in a Group 1 than 1st in a listed race. We’ll dig deeper into the race class later.

Sir Busker is the only one of these to be running in a class 1 race for the first time.

Course

At a course as unique as Goodwood course form is always a positive. There is one clear winner here and that is Duke Of Hazzard who has never been out of the frame in four starts. Sir Busker has placed in two of his three runs. It’s fair to say that no runner is this field has run poorly at this venue.

Distance

You’d expect most runners in a Group 2 to have a solid record over the race distance but it’s worth noting that the favourite here, Benbatl, has managed just one placing in five runs at a mile. This stat really stands out and along with the ground stats for Benbatl suggests he has a poor profile for this race.

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Like Benbatl, Regal Reality is another who scored badly on this ground and also has a poor record over this distance whilst Urban Icon is another with a sub 50% placing ratio at a mile.

Century Dream continues to score well with the best ratio here having placed in 67% of his runs over a mile.

Field Size

Often an underrated criteria, many horses are better suited to bigger fields and others to smaller fields. Yet again Century Dream is looking good having placed in all his runs in field sizes of 7 or less.

The stand out here is Regal Reality’s record in small fields. He’s managed to place in just two of his eight runs in field sizes this small.

Placings Summary

Without having to dig deep into the form Instant Expert has shown us that Century Dream is the really solid horse in this race. Sir Busker also scores well in most categories but is unproven (having been untried) in this sort of company. Duke Of Hazzard looks pretty good but there are serious ground concerns.

At the other end of the scale, Benbatl and Regal Reality, look two of the riskier propositions despite their positions in the market.

Win Data

This is what Instant Expert looks like for win purposes. We are getting less data here but the data we do get should be more telling.

Instant Expert Win Data

Once again Century Dream is coming out very well on all criteria except course as he is yet to run at Goodwood. Sir Busker is another who looks solid and a good proposition over a mile on testing ground at Goodwood. He’s yet to prove himself in this company and perhaps the biggest question mark for this horse is his ability to run well in smaller fields.

Duke Of Hazzard is interesting based on his course record of three wins from four starts. He also has a decent enough strike rate at this distance and in small fields. He’s had only one run on softer ground and finished unplaced so that’s the big unknown.

Early favourite Benbatl only really seems to have small field ability in his favour for win purposes whilst Regal Reality is unbeaten at Goodwood but other than that most of the elements that make up this race seem against him.

Positive scores poorly for wins in any of these circumstances except field size, and even a sole victory from three starts in small fields isn’t that great on the face of things. Meanwhile there is little evidence that Urban Icon will be at home in this race.

Digging Deeper

So far we have a very positive profile for Century Dream, a generally positive one for Sir Busker and a big ground question mark over Duke Of Hazzard. It also seems Benbatl and Regal Reality might be worth taking on.

Let’s first look at Duke Of Hazzard’s ground preference as he may be easy to rule out on that basis. Instant Expert is only able to look at runs from the UK and Ireland and a deeper look at Duke Of Hazzard’s form tells us he’s actually run three times on ground softer than good. Two of those runs were perhaps slightly below par but in Group 1 company so finishing unplaced wasn’t a disgrace. He also finished 2nd in a listed race at Deauville on good to soft. It doesn’t look as though he’s hopeless on softer ground and he clearly goes very well at Goodwood but there has to be a suspicion he is at his best on fast ground and it will probably take a near career best to win this.

Are Benbatl and Regal Reality really no hopers in this race despite their odds? Benbatl is the highest rated runner in this field and has largely been contesting Group 1 races over the past few years so having more unplaced efforts isn’t the end of the world. Looking at the ground though, he has been beaten favourite on softer than good on three of his four starts in those conditions (and was well beaten over too far a trip on his other attempt). The worse the ground gets, the worse he performs it seems.

Benbatl also had some worrying stats in races over a mile. Two of his five runs at a mile came on heavy ground. Those runs are relevant here as the going may not be far off heavy but they aren’t poof that he isn’t effective at a mile. He’s won over this trip at Group 2 level in the past so he’s clearly capable of winning this sort of race at this distance but it backs up the suspicion that the ground will be too soft for him.

Regal Reality was an impressive winner last time out over this trip at Group 3 level (good to firm). That was in an 8 runner field which perhaps allays fears he doesn’t act in smaller fields (he does have a poor record when there are 7 or fewer runners). All his wins outside of maiden company have been on good to firm ground though and whilst he’s placed on softer ground it’s worth noting that his only defeat from four runs at Group 3 level came on soft ground. The ground is the main reason to oppose Regal Reality but the fact he’s not won above Group 3 level in eight attempts is also a concern for his backers.

That leaves us with Century Dream and Sir Busker. Century Dream looks extremely solid based on Instant Expert so let’s see if he has any limitations. He’s never run at Goodwood but there is nothing in his profile that suggests he won’t handle the course. Possibly the best evidence we can get is to look at the Instant Expert for this race but from the sires’ perspectives.

Instant Expert Sire Data

Cape Cross’ offspring have run nine times at Goodwood in the past two years producing two winners. That might not seem a massive win ratio but it’s only bettered by Sire Prancelot (sire of Sir Busker) here and even then that’s by just 1%.

Let’s now look at Century Dreams’ defeats in Group company over a mile with cut in the ground. His two career unplaced efforts in these conditions came in an Ascot handicap on good to soft ground where perhaps it wasn’t quite soft enough for him and again at Ascot in a Group 1. In fact this horse has won just once from seven starts at Ascot (33% strike rate elsewhere) so it might not be his ideal course, for all he is Group 1 placed there on soft ground. Away from Ascot his only defeat over mile on softish ground was a 2nd in a listed race at Newmarket.

It would be hard to argue that Century Dream isn’t good enough to win this Group 2. His only run so far at this level was a 4th in the Summer Mile at Ascot on unsuitable good to firm ground. He has won both his starts at Group 3 level comfortably and has previously got within ¾ of a length of Roaring Lion in the QEII stakes at Ascot (possibly not his favourite track).

Can Sir Busker defeat him? He’s been a rapid improver this season, going up 19lbs in just 5 runs and he’s still relatively unexposed at this distance. He was slightly unlucky not to win a competitive handicap last time out off 107 so could easily yet rate higher than his current mark of 111 which leaves him just 4lbs to find on Century Dream. Sir Busker was 2nd here as a 2yo, won a low grade handicap here as a 3yo and his only unplaced effort at this course was in the Golden Mile two starts ago when getting no run on the rail whatsoever.

The main concern with Sir Busker would be his ability to handle small fields. He’s a real hold up performer who needs a decent pace to aim at so it stands to reason he’d generally be better in bigger fields. He has won in 8 and 9 runner fields, albeit off much lower marks in handicaps, but was outpaced in several smaller field races last year (often at shorter trips than this).

The key here to Sir Busker is going to be the early pace.

Celebration Mile Pace Map

Benbatl is likely to lead with Century Dream well placed just off him. It doesn’t look like there will be a strong pace which could inconvenience Sir Busker. If Benbatl ends up being withdrawn because of the ground then there is likely to be an even slower gallop and that pushes things more in the favour of Century Dream and less in the favour of Sir Busker.

They say ‘class horses go on any ground’ but the evidence in this race is that several of these are going to find conditions (not just the ground) against them. Century Dream seems to have everything going for him and Sir Busker is not far behind.

I wouldn’t put anyone off either of these runners who are available at 11/2 and 9/1 respectively at the time of writing. Unfortunately with just 7 runners each way betting is far less attractive. However it could be worth maximising the value from this race by backing both Century Dream and Sir Busker in a reverse forecast.

Fair Warning: Imminent Price Rise

It's almost two years since Geegeez Gold last raised its monthly price. And it is three and a half years since we increased the cost of an annual subscription.

During that time, we have continually invested in developing our offering to you. Indeed, since that last annual sub rise in February 2017, we've added the following [sorry, it's a long list]

**

9th May 2017 – Addition of Draw Tool and Query Tool

16th June 2017 – Addition of ‘Clear’ button to reports; addition of result filters to Query Tool; addition of ‘Show/Hide Inline’ button to reports; addition of ‘All’ and ‘All Hcap’ snippets to inline trainer form

5th July 2017 – Addition of silks to fast results page; fix for HC1 indicators/report where trainer has multiple HC1 runners; Phase 2 of Query Tool (Major Race Class, Equipment, Card/Actual Weight, Card/Actual Draw, Official Rating, Speed Rating); ability to hide/show infrequently used variables on Query Tool. Query Tool output now clickable to main form database. Variable descriptions added to User Guide.

21st August 2017 – Fixed issue with ‘My Tracked Engagements’ links on My Geegeez page; added negative trainer/jockey form indicators.

11th September 2017 – Added Pace Tab ‘Graphic View’

20th September 2017 – Added equipment count to racecards

11th December 2017 – Major release: Report Angles. Also minor amend to Tracker maximums

14th February 2018 – New Report: A to Z

22nd February 2018 – Added Hcap/All race filter to PACE tab

29th March 2018 – Added Hcap/All race filter to DRAW tab

25th April 2018 – Added more configuration options to Instant Expert

23rd May 2018 – Add Proximity Form explanation

12th June 2018 – Draw chart lines; Tracker notes displayed on hover over; minor bug fixes

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25th July 2018 – Major release: New Report system, with historical data and csv export; racecard menu filters and course information links; QT Angles; hide odds option

5th October 2018 - Added Class Move report and indicators; added show/hide racecard elements to My Geegeez; updated Query Tool user guide content

13th November 2018 – Added TJ Combo 1 year to jockey inline form; major overhaul of Full Form; added odds to Report Angles report; bug fixes to search, future entries, report inline date history sort

22nd January 2019 – Added Pace Analyser; added Trainer/Jockey/Sire to Instant Expert; added RESET button, latest odds and official rating to Full Form

22nd March 2019 – Added Bet Tracker; added Racing Post and Topspeed ratings

27th March 2019 – Minor amends to Bet Tracker

24th April 2019 – Major upgrade: Added User Notes & Ratings; added Instant Expert inline; added Draw IV3; added Pace percentage

22nd May 2019 – Added weight for age and jockey allowance options on ratings; added ability to rate/price up a race from the card; added R1/R2 ratings to inline form; added option to consider last 4, 3 or 2 runs for pace maps; removed tip league from card

12th August 2019 – Added sortation to Full Form past performance columns

23rd September 2019 – Added note about QT Angles including odds or pace score parameters

3rd January 2020 – Major release: Added sectional timing content to Full Results, Full Form and Cards inline

12th February 2020 – Added ‘Upgrade’ figure column to form; revised colour on Draw tab/Draw Analyser; Added Heat Map underlay on Pace tab

29th April 2020 – Cosmetic enhancements across the racecards; addition of future form; addition of date filter to Draw and Pace Analysers

20th May 2020 – Addition of percentage of rivals beaten (PRB) and derivations to Draw Analyser and Draw tab on racecard; cosmetic upgrade to Tracker

31st July 2020 – Cosmetic change to racecard icon design; addition of Profiler tab to racecards

**

Phew! It's a lot, isn't it?

The current cost of an annual subscription is the equivalent of 8.25 monthly payments. Frankly, that is too low: industry standard is 10x monthly (i.e. two months free per year).

As of August 7th, THIS FRIDAY, our annual subscription price will increase to £360 in line with industry norms

NOTE: THIS IS FOR NEW ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS ONLY - EXISTING SUBSCRIPTIONS WILL BE UNAFFECTED

At less than £1 a day the revised price is still fantastic value (obviously) for a service which is so much easier to use and so much more feature-rich - and still so much better value - than other vaguely comparable services.

But if you want to lock in the current, heavily discounted, subscription rate you'll need to act this week.

 

CLICK HERE to UPGRADE to ANNUAL >>>

 

After Friday, 7th August, the cost of an annual subscription will rise to £360. Until then, it remains at £297, and you'll never pay a penny more for as long as your subscription remains active.

 

If you're currently a monthly subscriber,
CLICK HERE to UPGRADE to ANNUAL >>>

 

If you're not currently a subscriber,
CLICK HERE to REGISTER and SIGN UP for ANNUAL >>>

 

We have lots more planned in the coming months to move Geegeez Gold still further forwards. Without going into detail, the following is on the road map right now:

  • Addition of historical Betfair data, and reports calculating Betfair P/L
  • Major upgrade of Query Tool, including previous race variables
  • A 'Bet Finder' tool to identify qualifiers based on your selected criteria
  • Addition of big race trends
  • More sectional data tools
  • Striding data and analysis
  • Many other smaller updates

If you know you're going to be needing Geegeez Gold ongoing, now is the time to lock in your annual discount.

CLICK HERE to UPGRADE to ANNUAL >>>

 

Thank you very much for being a Geegeez subscriber. We remain as committed as ever to giving you the very best chance of coming out in front, AND enjoying the game along the way.

Matt

p.s. here's that upgrade link again - any questions, let me know.

**NEW** Profiler Tab: Video Explainer

We've added a new tab to the racecards called PROFILER and, in this video, I explain what it is, what it does and how it works. It's an exciting new development that looks sure to throw up some great insights, especially in terms of trainer and sire angles.

Watch the video and then have a play with Profiler!

Matt

A Sectional Refresher

We are hopefully going to be hearing a lot more about sectional timing - more importantly, what sectional timing tells us about how horses performed and races were run - this season and beyond. With that in mind, I thought I'd offer a little refresher... to myself as much as anyone!

I, and Tony Keenan before me, have written about the subject and I'd encourage you to read those articles:

Why Sectionals Matter

What Is The Point of Sectional Timing in Horse Racing

For those who want to get stuck into the mechanics, I highly recommend Simon Rowlands' Introduction to Sectional Timing, which you can download here.

If you favour speaky over reading, the video below is part 'why sectionals' and part 'how it works round here' and includes the answer to the crucial question, "How do I switch it on in my geegeez setup?"

Secure a beverage and give it a peruse if you fancy...

Oh, and any questions, leave a comment below. If I don't know the answer (quite possible), I will try to find someone who does.

Matt

5th June Video Preview: Bringing it together

In this fifth and final video preview of the week, I use the racecards, form tools and reports to isolate a few interesting horses in the seven older-horse handicaps taking place on Friday.

This series has been about process rather than desperately trying to pick winners. Happily, it has illustrated the process with numerous scores including 22/1 Zodiakos on the very first day. Whether you backed any of them or not, I hope you've gained some insights into the kit we have here and what it can do for YOU.

Most importantly, I hope you've seen that fun and profit are not mutually exclusive and that winning from betting on horses is possible.

Here's my final episode of the weekend. With luck there will be something of value within...

4th June Preview: 2yo Races, and Laying

In today's video, I cover a few points which have been raised this week, specifically:

- why don't my Report Angles show straight after I've set them up?

- how can I use reports for the purpose of laying horses?

And I gaze through the fog of unraced two-year-old races in the vain hope of trying to find a bet...

3rd June Preview: Gold Trainer Reports

In tonight's video preview of tomorrow's racing, I get all evangelical about one particular component of the Gold setup that you absolutely MUST use. It is golden. It really is. Honestly. Watch the video to see what, and why. And please, please, please take action with it: it will improve your betting literally overnight.

Important Note:

The report jobs run twice daily so anything you configure as per the video will not instantly populate. However, once you've set things up they'll be in place from the next report run onwards. (The reports run at 4.30 am/pm daily, and I'm triggering a few extras at the moment to pick things up a little more in real time).

Here's the video...

Racing is Back! 1st June Video Preview

Racing is back! My, how we've missed it. And, to celebrate its return, as well as the return of plenty of subscribers old and new, I've recorded a video preview of the opening contest.

Regardless of how long you've been a Gold subscriber - perhaps you're still not - I hope you'll find some value in the video, which is designed to highlight a process rather than a tip... though as you'll discover I found a few reasons to like a 20/1 shot!

In the video I refer to a post talking about our metrics, which you can find here.

And here's a quick link to the Newcastle Punting Pointers article.

And, finally, if you're not a Gold subscriber, here's the link to sign up. Get your first month for just £1.

 

Gold Updates: Cosmetics and PRB

As well as providing bundles of top class thought-provoking editorial during this interminable lockdown, we've also been beavering away on generating some new bells and whistles on our racecards. Actually, we've been mostly cosmetically enhancing our existing features. Let's start with those...

Blue is the new grey

First up, you'll see a lot more blue about the place and a lot less grey.

The card tab now looks like this:

 

Full Form, with its collapsible blocks, now looks like this:

In the above example, for a geegeez.co.uk syndicate horse, I've collapsed the Race Form and Race Entries blocks.

 

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Perhaps the biggest change is to Instant Expert where we've inverted the colour blocks. So, where previously the outlines and numbers were in the colour (green, amber, red), now the block is that colour with the number font in white. It looks like this:

 

 

Similar cosmetic amendments have been made to the result, pace, odds and draw tabs, which leads me nicely on to...

 

New Draw Metric

We've introduced a new metric on the Draw Analyser and in the draw tab, called Percentage of Rivals Beaten, or PRB. I've explained more about it in this post, which I very much recommend you read if you haven't already.

The value of PRB over, say, win or place percent is that every runner in every race receives a performance value, with only the last placed horse getting 0. So, for example, in a six horse race, there would be a winner, one additional placed horse (as well as the winner), and four unplaced horses.

In the win percentages, that race would produce a breakdown of 100/0/0/0/0/0 (100% win for the winner, 0% win for the rest of the field).

Place percentages would have 100/100/0/0/0/0 (two placed horses, four unplaced '0' horses).

But the third horse has performed better than the fourth, fifth and sixth horses; and the winner has performed better than all of its rivals. PRB aims to more accurately place a value against finishing position. So the percentage of rivals the winner beats will always be 100%, and the PRB of the last placed horse will always be 0%, but in between there will be a sliding scale. In this six-horse race example, the second horse has beaten 80% of its rivals (four out of five rivals), and the fourth placed horse has beaten two home, which is 40% of rivals.

In a fair draw each stall, or group of stalls, would see a PRB score of 50%, or 0.5. And many stalls are within one or two percentage points of that. If a draw location has a PRB of 55%+ (0.55+) it is probably favoured; the converse is also true: if a stall has a PRB of 45% or less it may be somewhat unfavoured. Here's how it looks on the draw tab:

The table columns to the right hand side list PRB and PRB2. In this case we can see that high is favoured to a small degree and low commensurately unfavoured.

PRB2 is simply the PRB score multiplied by itself. What this does is accentuate the percentages: in practical terms it rewards those finishing closer to the winner than those finishing further down the field, recognising that horses may not be ridden out for the best possible placing if that placing is going to be eighth of 20, whereas they virtually always will if that placing is third of 20. There is more on how that works in the horse racing metrics post.

When looking at individual draws, I've introduced a metric called PRB3. Similar to IV3, it takes a rolling three-stall average PRB of the stall in question and its immediate neighbours. So, for example, the PRB3 of stall six would be the average PRB of stalls five, six and seven. It is, in exactly the same way as IV3, a means of smoothing the curve and making sense of draw data distribution. Here it is in action:

 

PRB has lots of potential applications in horseracing datasets, and we've started our adoption in the draw space. It will be especially useful when, as in the examples above, there is not a lot to go on in terms of runs, wins and places. There is still not a great deal in the PRB dataset but, by scoring every horse in each race in the sample, there is more data depth in which to fish.

That's all for this update. Very soon we'll be able to get stuck back into one of our favourite pastimes: messing around with racing data! And Geegeez Gold will have it well covered.

Matt

The Draw Analyser Challenge

Sadly, for those of us who love the UK and/or Irish racing, it looks like we're in limbo until at least June 1st. The good news, relatively at least, is that the odds of a restart on that date are shortening all the time. Assuming nothing untoward occurs during these next few weeks, we ought to be ready to get cracking just 20 days from now. Everything crossed, of course.

In the meantime, it's time to further tool ourselves up, and so I've come up with another challenge!

So that everyone can play I've made our absolutely awesome, best in breed, Draw Analyser tool available to all registered users; so if you have a geegeez account, free or paid, you can join in. This is for the duration of the challenge - one week - only.

Here's what I'd like you to do:

Step 1 - Visualisation

The first thing to do is to bring some logic to the party. It is all too easy to walk straight into the data without thinking about the problem at hand. That casual approach lends itself readily to back-fitting, because you're not trying to prove - or disprove - a theory. Rather, you're looking at the numbers and trying to work back from there. Whilst such an approach is not completely without merit, it is less rigorous than beginning with a notion of what you're hoping to find.

A way to do this when considering potential draw biases is to first look at the track layout. Let's use an example, York racecourse in this case.

1a. Go to our UK racecourses page and choose a course.

I've linked to it there, and you'll find it in the top menu under Courses/Fixtures.

Hint: try to avoid obvious ones like Chester; we're looking for angles that might not be over-exposed

In the top right corner of the racecourse page, you'll see a course map. Clicking on it will expand it and display the locations of the race starts.

 

1b. Scan for possible draw-affected race distances.

I'm immediately drawn to the mile (1m) and 1m1f distances because of that sharp bend at the top of the home straight that comes up fairly quickly. I wonder if, in bigger fields, that might inconvenience wide/high draws and, therefore, favour low to middle stalls.

So that's the assumption I'm going to test. (I think it's possible that in bigger-field two mile races there might be a similar bias for a similar reason given the number of left-handers the field takes, but we'll save that for another day).

Step 2 - Set up the tool

So now we need to set up the Draw Analyser. We're going to do this in a specific way so we test apples against apples, as it were.

The Draw Analyser has a series of options at the top of the page to allow us to configure things as we'd like.

 

So we're going to use a standard set of parameters, shown above and ignoring course and distance for now, as follows:

- Set 'Draw' to Actual - this will review the data based on the actual stall positions of the horses, removing any non-runners from consideration (so, for example, the horse drawn six would have an actual draw of five if one of the horses drawn inside him was declared a non-runner, and so on).

- Set 'Going' to Hard to Heavy (you could use Firm or, at most courses, Good to Firm, but we'll do this for now).

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- Set 'Runners' to 10 to 16+

- Set 'Races' to Hcap (so we're only looking at handicaps)

- Set 'Dates' to 2009 to 2020

Once these are set up they will only change when we change them, as all data below the options area updates auto-magically 🙂

Now select your course and distance combination from the dropdowns.

Step 3 - Review the data

If we've performed steps 1 and 2 correctly we should have some data in the tool which may or may not support our theory. Let's review that to see if it is starting to tell us anything.

3a. Consider the course and distance draw 'all going' data

We can see from the chart that there's a lovely linearity - a straight line - from low to high. That is a very good start and normally things will be less cut and dried at this stage. N.B. Do make sure you check the left hand scale because you might see a line like this with very few percentage points from the top of the scale to the bottom.

The table above the chart tells us a number of things:

- There have been 65 races that match our criteria (wins column, 32 + 21 + 12) so a reasonable sample

- The win percentage drops as we move from low to middle to high; so, too, does the place percentage

- The A/E and IV figures for low are both above 1.00, a strong sign

3b. Consider going subsets

At some courses the favoured sector of the draw/track can change markedly on differing ground. For example, at Epsom and Brighton, jockeys will chart a course to the polar opposite side of the home straight on soft or heavy ground due to the way the camber leans and, therefore, the way the rainwater drains (it is always softest at the bottom of a hill or incline).

So we must check for any variance of going. I divide things into two simple subsets, fast and slow. Fast is 'Good or quicker', and slow is 'good to soft or slower'. [For all-weather, I include all AW going in a single range]

N.B. When using going ranges, the faster going must go in the top box or you will get no data returned.

Let's bisect our York mile data in this way:

Fast:

Slow:

In this case there is very little of note: the slow group has only a few races in it and it appears progressively tougher for high drawn horses to prevail, but there is not really enough evidence to be categorical about that.

What we can say is that the bias is 'going agnostic', that is, it manifests largely the same regardless of the state of the ground.

3c. Retest on date range subsets

Racecourse husbandry is an extremely complex business. I, and many others who value data in their wagering decisions, have given clerks of the course a hard time on occasion for their misleading reporting, but there is little doubt that all of them operate to a high level of skill in their field (pun intended!). Advances in irrigation (watering) and drainage, as well as tactical rail movements, have reduced or eliminated many historical biases and so it is important to check our data against different periods of time.

Dave Renham, our main resident draw expert (along with Jon Shenton, who takes a broader sweep in his course analyses), has recently taken to following the Mordin approach of rolling five-year subsets (e.g. 2009-2013, 2010-2014, 2011-2015, etc) and that is a great way to go if you have the time and inclination. For now, though, we'll break the data into two groups, 2009-2014 - the oldest six years in our database - and 2015-2019, the most recent five years. Again we're looking for any material change in the bias.

Hint: Remember to reinstate the full going range

2009-2014

2015-2019

While the sample sizes are quite small, the general principle is the same: low favoured, middle less favoured, high unfavoured. So we appear to have a bias that is consistent against both time and going. These are rare birds so do not fret if you don't find such a clean and consistent relationship with your chosen course and distance combination; after all, mine was cherry-picked for example purposes!

Step 4 - Fine Tuning and Scoring

The last step, assuming there is anything of note to this point, is to fine tune and score your course/distance combination. Actually, there is value in noting that there is little or no bias over a course and distance. No knowledge is bad knowledge and knowing that draw is not a factor in certain races enables an unencumbered focus on other aspects of the puzzle.

4a. Fine tuning

The fine tuning comes first; it's not really fine tuning as such, because we are working within the fixed parameters of field size, going and date ranges to resist accusations of convenience fitting.

But... it is sometimes the case that, for instance, very wet (heavy) ground or the biggest fields accentuate a bias, and it is worth noting that alongside the 'fixed parameter' work.

For my mile handicaps at York research, I wanted to see if a bigger field would emphasise the advantage to those drawn inside and the disadvantage to those drawn highest.

This is really interesting: in the 30 qualifying races, low has readily outstripped middle and high. But looking at the constituent draw data we can see that stalls six and thirteen, on either cusp of the middle draw section, have kept that group afloat. It does appear that either the inside stalls 'get away' or the wider drawn horses sweep around the outside to prevail. Those berthed in the middle have had a tough time being neither one nor the other of those things: not getting first run, and being potentially trapped behind horses in the straight preventing them getting the late run also.

That is conjecture on my part to some degree, but it's credible enough. Of course, I welcome alternative theories!

The IV3 chart at the bottom of the image above (IV3 being the average Impact Value of a stall and its immediate neighbours) demonstrates the middle drawn hinterland as well as the low-draw safe haven for punters.The constituent draw table reveals that ten of the 30 races in the sample were won by horses drawn 1, 2 or 3: that's a third of the winners from less than a fifth of the runners.

4b. Scoring

The last part of the process is to try to score the utility of any observed bias. It may be useful from an elimination perspective - that is, avoid high draws unless their form/value case is irresistible - or, more generally, from a 'mark up' perspective: in other words, bonus points to the case for a horse optimally housed.

The score should be more than a mere number, because there is normally a qualitative element to our observations as well the quantitative component.

For example, in my York mile example, I will score the bias as a solid 7 at this stage. When I've worked through a few more course/distance combinations, I might revisit that score and nudge it up or down a bit, but 7 feels about right for now.

The fact that it's somewhat 'feel-based' - we could use percentage scoring bases, but this challenge is not intended to be too academic in its rigour - adds ballast to the need for the quantitative element: some commentary on what we've discovered.

In this example, my final comments are thus:

York, 1m - 7/10 LOW

Strong linearity from low to high, the widest-drawn runners unfavoured. Bias has been consistent over time and on all going, and is accentuated in bigger fields (8/10 in 16+ runner handicaps), where the bottom three stalls have won a third of the 30 races in review.

 

5 The Challenge

This challenge may be considered a little more in-depth than the horse profiling one from last week, but it's actually about the same once you get into a rhythm. It would be easy to go through all of the distances at a given track in 30-40 minutes, and to select and review the most likely distance(s) in 15 minutes or so.

I'd very much welcome readers of a curious bent taking up the challenge and adding a comment below in the style of my York 1m note and score. I'll add it to the comments as an example, and hope it's not a lone comment!

Good luck,

Matt

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